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February Meetup

This month we will be reading and discussing Affinity by Sarah Waters.

An upper-class woman recovering from a suicide attempt, Margaret Prior has begun visiting the women’s ward of Millbank prison, Victorian London’s grimmest jail, as part of her rehabilitative charity work. Amongst Millbank’s murderers and common thieves, Margaret finds herself increasingly fascinated by on apparently innocent inmate, the enigmatic spiritualist Selina Dawes. Selina was imprisoned after a séance she was conducting went horribly awry, leaving an elderly matron dead and a young woman deeply disturbed. Although initially skeptical of Selina’s gifts, Margaret is soon drawn into a twilight world of ghosts and shadows, unruly spirits and unseemly passions, until she is at last driven to concoct a desperate plot to secure Selina’s freedom, and her own.

As in her noteworthy deput, Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters brilliantly evokes the sights and smells of a moody and beguiling nineteenth-century London, and proves herself yet again a storyteller, in the words of the New York Times Book Review, of "startling power." A tale that will leave readers "transfixed with horror and excitement" (Daily Mail, London) Affinity, in its accomplishment and sophistication, leaves no doubt as to this writer's considerable gifts.

Please join us for some good discussion and social time. Refreshments will be available. (Please feel free to bring a snack or beverage. I will supply at least one bottle of wine. )

There is never any pressure to have the book completed (or read at all) in order to attend. We would just love to have you, and it can be enjoyable to hear about the book and meet some cool people.

Remember that Books, Inc. provides book club members a 15% discount on the books we are reading for the meetup. Call ahead to make sure they have a copy available for you. They can also arrange to have books shipped to you.

Parking and transportation:
Parking can be challenging, but there are a number of options. There are the obvious street meters which are free by this time. In addition to these there are two outdoor lots and a parking garage in the vicinity, all of which are also free on Sundays. (Regularly $0.50/hr)

The Civic Center Parking Structure is next door to the Alameda Theatre and is located at 1416 Oak Street, between Central Avenue and Santa Clara Avenue. Lot A is accessible from Park Avenue between Central avenue and Santa Clara Avenue. Lot B is accessible from both Central Avenue and Alameda Avenue between Oak Street and Park Street.

The bookstore is also not too far from the Fruitvale BART Station on Oakland. It is an easy bus ride from there. Arrangements can also be made with the organizer and/or other members for rides to and from the BART. Just post requests and availability to the comments.

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  • Steve S.

    Interesting book (I would never have read it on my own, but very glad I did), great discussions, great people -- I enjoy the book club more each time I attend!

    1 · February 25, 2013

  • Terry

    Great to hear what everyone had to say about the book-forced me to question things I hadn't even thought about (ie Selina, good or evil). Looking forward to the next one!

    February 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I love that we do not have to agree. :) In the end there were some insights I greatly appreciated.

    February 24, 2013

  • Gary

    Yes, the conversation was pretty good. It helped me appreciate the book more than I did while reading it. Listening to the discussion always helps me see things I totally missed or didn't consider very much on my own.

    1 · February 24, 2013

  • Lori

    Although a majority had a tough time getting through the book, I thought the conversation very spirited.
    I enjoyed everyone's take on the story very much.

    February 24, 2013

  • Jeremy (.

    I didn't get a chance to read the book :/ ill be at the next one for sure as I've started the next book already! Hope you all have fun!

    February 24, 2013

  • Jeremy (.

    I didn't read the book, so ill sit this meetup out! I'm just getting into next months book & its great. Ill see you all in March!

    February 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    will try to make it

    February 24, 2013

  • Lucymarie R.

    Sorry to change my RSVP. I'm not going to be able to make this one.

    February 21, 2013

  • Valerie K.

    Forgot the See you all next month.

    February 21, 2013

  • Sigi

    its the oscars

    February 18, 2013

  • Gary

    Glad wasnt the only one having trouble getting into it. I've had the movie on deck for a couple weeks as backup . . .

    February 18, 2013

    • Jeremy (.

      Haha I think I'm gonna have to do that!

      February 18, 2013

  • Elizabeth

    I am sitting in the Seattle airport and am planning to use my hours-long layover to finish it! Galen and Dawn, I am around the 100 page mark and it is indeed getting better.

    February 18, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Ok I have faith.

      February 18, 2013

  • Jody

    Affinity is a particularly hard one when it starts. Stick with it. Or cheat - there's a (very sappy and not really well done) movie version!

    February 18, 2013

  • Cynthia E

    Her books are hard to start, it gets better.

    February 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    My corset is being prepped. :)

    February 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am also having that problem. I have reread the beginning twice trying to get into it. I am bound and determined to finish it though so I have days to make it work. :)

    February 18, 2013

  • Galen

    Is anyone else having trouble warming up to the book maybe it's me:(

    February 18, 2013

  • Terry

    Looking forward to it...just got the book, hope to be done!

    February 12, 2013

  • Jeremy (.

    I'm going to try and finish the book before the meetup, but even if I don't I'm excited to meet all of you!! I'll also bring an extra bottle of wine. Anyone have any preference? :)

    February 11, 2013

  • Alissa B.

    Acckkk this is Oscar night!

    February 7, 2013

  • Jody

    Loved this book. Sorry we can't be there this month - interferes with Stanford women's bball! But we'll be back in March! :)

    February 1, 2013

  • Sky

    Silly cups and period clothing!

    January 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I will try and remember to bring a bottle of wine or some snacks this time!

    January 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Some of us decided to bring our own wine glasses next month to personalize our night. Join in if you like. Even if you put water in it. :) Let's see what we can come up with.

    January 27, 2013

  • Valerie K.

    I just joined and can attend in February. I cannot attend the Jan. 27th meeting and i was automatically signed up. I will look for a way to decline for this month and look forward to meeting you at the Feb group.

    January 27, 2013

  • Alissa B.

    Can't wait to meet everyone.

    January 26, 2013

  • Renshel F.

    I may be attending. Not sure yet

    January 11, 2013

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